Mentoring Matters: The Importance of Mentorship in Youth Development 

Jan 20, 2023 | Blog, Boys & Girls Clubs

We often hear the saying that the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow, and we could not agree more at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids. Truth is, our community’s youth will one day become our future, and it is our responsibility as parents, teachers, and role models to shape the future by shaping our youth. This is where mentorship comes in. 

Mentors are nothing new or unheard of. They provide guidance and support, but most importantly, mentors are motivators and role models, that help children navigate the complexities and obstacles of growing up. Through mentoring, children are exposed to new experiences and perspectives, which can broaden their horizons and inspire them to set and achieve ambitious goals. Mentoring provides meaningful connections that impact the people involved and influence their lives at home, school, and in their communities. Furthermore, mentoring supplies a sense of belonging, helping children feel less isolated and more connected to others.  

There is ample evidence that mentoring can significantly affect a child’s academic and personal success. Studies show that mentored youth are more likely to graduate from high school, attend college, and have successful careers. The caring relationships a child builds with mentors can help them avoid high-risk behavior, by making them less susceptible to unhealthy influences. In addition to better attendance and a better chance of going on to higher education, mentored youth maintain a better attitude toward school and are less likely to drop out.

Did you know?

  • 85% of high school-aged Club kids say there is an adult they feel comfortable talking to at their Club. [1]
  • 90% of Club kids say they can talk to an adult at their Club if they have a problem. [2]
  • 94% of Club kids say the adults at their Club believe they will be a success.[3]
  • 88% of Club kids say adults at their Club encourage them to try something different, while 93% say they are encouraged to do their best. [4]

January is National Mentorship Month, and at Boys and Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids, we believe in the importance of mentorship for the youth and our community. Mentorship plays a vital role in shaping the future of our young people by providing guidance, support, and encouragement. Our dedicated staff and volunteers at Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids take the time to notice the strengths of the young people they work with, listen to their concerns, and open doors of possibility. We strive to promote the benefits of mentorship and amplify the power of relationships through our programs and services. By investing in mentorship, we are investing in the future of our community and the success of our youth. 

Do you want to make a long lasting impact on our community’s youth? Sign up to volunteer today! Whether it’s assisting with homework or leading an exciting group activity, there are plenty of ways you can get involved.

Fill out an individual application online, a group volunteer interest form online, or contact Zoe Willoughby at or 616-233-9369.